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Discussion Starter #1
I've always loved sports cars but had always fallen prey to the argument of practicality. When I moved to California 9 years ago I decided I wanted a fun car for weekend trips to the beach, etc. and bought myself a Miata which I loved and drove for 6 years. I'm 6'4" tall and it was not exactly roomy for me, but I enjoyed it anyway and made due with the lack of creature comforts. But I finally succumbed to the lack of space (headroom in particular) and traded it for a 'Crossover' vehicle a few years back. The space and size of the SUV was a novelty, but I'm finding the fun of driving is gone. And the pitiful gas mileage isn't exactly thrilling me with gas prices the way they are. So I've started to have 'dark thoughts' about buying another sports car, and innocently dropped by my local Lotus dealer last weekend for a look-see. I instantly fell in love with the Elise and the Exige (I'd seen the Elise on the road before, but never laid eyes on the Exige - Wow!). I haven't even driven one yet (hopefully tomorrow) but I haven't stopped thinking about it. The pictures of the cars on this site aren't exactly helping either ;) So here's my dilemma, one that I seem to share with lots of prospective buyers on this forum - Is the Elise for me? Will I learn to hate its lack of creature comforts and space and wish I had my SUV back? Does it make sense to have a 'toy car' that isn't used every day? I'm married, but have no kids and none on the way so I don't need *tons* of space. My wife has a practical car (a BMW 330i) so we're covered for trips to the grocery store, etc. But I wouldn't want to drive my Elise/Exige to the mall, etc. so I guess I'd need yet another car as a backup. None of it makes any sense but I still want it! I guess what I'm looking for is how other members justify owning such a car that could be a daily driver but isn't really meant for such a thing, has few creature comforts (love my SUV's navigation system!) and is somewhat fragile. Just a tidbit of something to tell me that I am, in fact, not just having a mid-life crisis but there are real-life reasons why someone needs such a car :p I'm almost afraid to take a test drive because I'm already in love with the car and I've only sat in it on the lot (and, by some miracle, I actually fit in it!).

Thanks for listening.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Did I mention I was on a budget? :p The Elise is probably a better fit, maybe the Exige if I stretched it, but we're about to do a home renovation so discretionary income is a bit scarce.
 

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Don't buy on looks. Drive one and carefully consider the impracticality of it. I could never daily drive one, but a few people here do.
 

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You wouldn't be the tallest owner I know of.

I have 5 kids and we're fine.

I fit 50# of tank gravel, a 10 gallon fish tank, and a Lotus load of other stuff into the car once (I can't remember everything that was put into the car, boot and passenger side, but it completely filled a Petsmart shopping cart). Couldn't see out of the passenger side window, but everything fit.

I used my car as a DD, except when the tyres are showing cord, and have no problems with it.

I love the lack of comforts. For me that is comfortable.

Get a Garmin Nuvi.

Real-life reasons? If you want it and love it, isn't that enough. But how about gas mileage that averages around 30mpg for me.

If you test drive it, either don't take your check book or be prepared to buy a car.

Having said that, the only other Elise owner in my town just sold his car because he "couldn't stand the egress and lack of creature comforts anymore." He bought it after breaking the axles on his Vette on the track in '05 getting airborne. So, there is always the other side. Many people have purchased the Elise/Exige, have put little miles on them because of the impracticable nature of the car and have sold them off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Don't buy on looks. Drive one and carefully consider the impracticality of it. I could never daily drive one, but a few people here do.
Agreed, I don't intend to buy on looks alone. I'm scheduling a test drive for tomorrow so hopefully that'll help push me one way or the other. I daily drove my Miata for the better part of 6 years, but the Lotus is even more spartan and I'm not sure I could make it my DD either.
 

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The Elise is a lot like a Miata - but more so.

If you liked the feeling of driving a Miata, you will really like driving a Lotus.

If you had a smile on you face driving the Miata, you are going to have an ear to ear grin in the Lotus.

If you disliked the lack of space in the Miata, the lack of space in the Elise is really going to annoy you.

If dealing with a small car annoyed you, the Elise is going to be worse.

If you were paranoid about people messing with your Miata, the Elise is going to be worse.

Etc.

It all depends on what you are looking for in your next car, and no matter what anyone else says or posts, it's going to depend on your

For what it's worth, for many of us, it's more than worth it. Some of us have even manged to keep our Miatas to go along with the Elise.
 

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Do not make an impulse buy here, even after the test drive. They are dangerous those test drives :evil:. They cost a lot of people a lot of money.

Also recommend you discuss the finances in depth with the spouse. The maintenance costs are generally not that high for me, but I do most of the work myself. Those who take their car to the dealer for every oil change, etc are paying quite a bit more than they otherwise would be, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I love the lack of comforts. For me that is comfortable.
It might sound odd, but there is something I also find appealing about the base-ness of the Elise/Exige and the way it's so pure of purpose. It isn't trying to be anything other than a pure driver's car. I've looked at Boxster's and Cayman's but they just don't seem to do the same thing for me. Almost too polished for sports cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do not make an impulse buy here, even after the test drive. They are dangerous those test drives :evil:. They cost a lot of people a lot of money.
Good advice, but I'm one of the least impulsive people in the world. I deliberate everything to the n-th degree before making a decision as big as this. But I suspect it'll be hard in this case :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Those who take their car to the dealer for every oil change, etc are paying quite a bit more than they otherwise would be, IMO.
I'd be one of those guys :p The dealer I spoke to told me that regular maintenance runs about $350 every 6 months. Is that anywhere near reality or was he just blowing smoke?
 

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Good advice, but I'm one of the least impulsive people in the world. I deliberate everything to the n-th degree before making a decision as big as this. But I suspect it'll be hard in this case :D
I also think far too much about things. Hadn't purchased a new car "just for myself" for many, many years and was looking at the Elise for 1.5 years, trying to justify the purchase of it. I couldn't. 4 kids (at that time) with one on the way, etc, etc. Had the money, but just couldn't seem to, because of the mental deliberation I was doing, bite on the purchase. Too small, not going to sell it off like my last car venture (which was solely a for profit adventure) and it's impracticable, fragile, etc, etc, etc. I could come up with 2K reasons not to buy it and just the 'but I really want one' reason for buying it.

My wife out of no where one day tells me I should buy a Lotus (http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/few-reasons-my-wife-great-35720/). I fought the idea in my head for months after that until the test drive when it all went to pot. It was that damn test drive, but now I wouldn't have it any other way.

:shift:
 

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How come no one has asked him to post pics in a bikini ala Rachael Mcarters post rotfl
 

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Hey good luck in your decision making. i was in your shoes 3-4 months ago and I also had the Miata prior to the Elise.

Let me add that you will not get the built quality and finish of a Miata. Please be prepared for that. My 08 Elise leaks in the rain, rattles & squeaks, has a lousy sound system, and has been back to the dealer 5x time to fix misc problems - water in in headlamps, broken heater, speedo out of spec....etc.
 

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How come no one has asked him to post pics in a bikini ala Rachael Mcarters post rotfl
first of all she volunteered... and second of all asking for pics of guys isnt for the guys... the girls are the ones that need to step it up! -eek-

back on topic test drive it :drool:
 

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I'd be one of those guys :p The dealer I spoke to told me that regular maintenance runs about $350 every 6 months. Is that anywhere near reality or was he just blowing smoke?
That depends on how much you drive your car, how often you change your oil, what type of tyres you have on it, how hard you drive it, etc.

Many variables to how often you need that "regular maintenance." I change my oil fairly often (it's about once a month on average at this point) but I drive my car in a mountainous region with nothing but twisty little roads with 55mph speed limits that no one can drive over 35 mph except in a Lotus :evil:.

Think of it as $350+/- every time you take the car to the dealer for the "routine things." Then there are the tyres that you may be buying once a year (or more/less often depending on type of tyre and type of driving). Paint chip repair if they bother you. Etc.
 

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DUDE!!!! GET IT ALREADY!! I've had miatas my entire life..and bought another used one to play with, got bored. Always wanted an Elise since I first saw them in the UK a long time ago. Swore IF they came to the states I'd do whatever it is I could to get one.

Went in to buy a used 05 Elise. Saw a CO 06' Exige...could NOT take my eyes off it. Yep, and ALL based on looks...so I spent the extra coin and took it home.

I drive that bitch every day, and I love it. It's not THAT fragile...the car is tiny, it's easy to park it out of trouble. It's a car made of metal and plastic, insure it and if it gets busted get it fixed....which can be a pain but you only need ONE good shop to get it done then you are set..hehe.

I don't understand the not a daily driver comments AT ALL. Seems to me, I climb in it's leather seat...sit on my ass, turn on the ****ty stereo and enjoy the piss out of wherever it is that I'm headed...every....single.....time....without.....fail.

Here are some justifications, I'm gonna assume you can afford it.

You need a car, why not own one you love
You will NOT find a more kick ass LOOKING car for the money
You will NOT find a more amazing driving experience for the money
A used Elise or Exige costs less than some toyota hybrids
It's a 4 banger, and super efficient...it's the GREEN of all exotics if you don't count the Tesla :)
It's pretty damn reliable, TOYOTA POWERTRAIN!!!
You've owned Miatas dude.......not exactly "practical"


And last but not least....your parents did not bring you to this planet to not enjoy yourself.

Lets assume something really bad happened to you, would you sit on the ground and with your last breath say "...*cough*..I'm so glad....*gasp*...that I bought another...*cough* miata instead of that....*whimper*....LOTUS....X-| "

If you've EVER owned or enjoyed a motorcycle the lotus is a Cadilac compared to the comfort there.

SAME DAY..BUY IT ALREADY!!! Fill your life with things that stir your soul and your soul will be happy my friend!!!

BTW as far as routine matinence..I've had my car for 11K miles..I don't know if the brakes or tires were the originals, car had 10K on it when I bought it. BUT I still have the Yoko fronts, that supposedly die in 2 or 3 miles. I have done both front and rear brakes.
 

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Did I mention I was on a budget? :p The Elise is probably a better fit, maybe the Exige if I stretched it, but we're about to do a home renovation so discretionary income is a bit scarce.
Buy a used one. I hear there is an Exige S fo $46K in AZ.

You can find good deals and on this form there is enough info to tell a good one from a bad one.

I had a miata as well:clap: . It got destroyed. :(


Lotus is by far the most fun/$$$!
A year later - even after a terrible day @ work - if I get in the Lotus I smile.

I bought mine new for my own reasons. Even with the price drop - I never regretted it.

You can get a good NAVI for the Lotus. Hey you live only one.

Do you have particular long legs? Then your knee might be between the shifter & the steering wheel. As a passenger you're fine - lots of leg room.

Did you ever sit in one?

BTW it should be clear that most of us here would say:

Get the Lotus.
 
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